Join NEAR-Applications

Would you like to join Near and help keep the racing memories from the Northeast alive? Our members enjoy a bi-monthly newsletter, an annual Member’s Meeting(catered), and an exciting fun packed schedule of both running and static events all year long. Our annual Hall Of Fame induction ceremony honors accomplished drivers, car owners, and other “major movers” in all the major New England racing series.

We welcome members to join our Officers and Board of Directors to help steer the ship. We would certainly love to have you on board! Simply print,fill out, and return one of the applications from the below links and you’re on your way. Welcome!

2021 NEAR Application for Membership short form

2021 NEAR Application for Membership long form

HOF Ralph Cusack passes

A great and beloved New England auto racing icon has died.

Ralph Cusack passed at age 87 on February 9, 2021. He was an early star at

Beech Ridge Speedway, and became a twelve-time champion. His first championship

was earned in 1953, the last in 1980. He won championships driving underpowered

coupes with flathead engines all the way up to insanely powerful supermodifieds.

He purchased the track from Cowboy Cal Reynolds in 1981, the year after he

won his final driving championship. He paved the track, brought in NASCAR and

made the place family friendly while filling all the seats on many Saturday nights. In

his senior years, Ralph sold the track to his sons Andy and Glenn who have run it

admirably ever since.

Although best known for his success as a Beech Ridge driver, he raced at a

variety of other tracks. In his youth, Ralph was on Scarborough High’s swim team. He

was a rifle marksman, hunter, fisherman, motorcycle and snowmobile enthusiast. As

a heavy equipment operator, he helped create the Maine Turnpike.

Much more than a track owner, Ralph was a strong family man who

with his wife Jane raised two fine sons. He was a man people admired and looked up


Ralph was inducted into the NEAR Hall of Fame in 2004, Maine Sports Hall of

Fame in 2006 and Maine Motorsports Hall of Fame. In addition to his driving

championships, he received many awards for his operation of the track.

Article thanks to Dick Berggren

STAR Founder Mary Lima Passes

The northeast racing community mourns the passing of Mary Lima of STAR. On behalf of the officers and members of NEAR, we offer our deepest condolences to Charlie, Tammy, and Mary’s family and friends. She was a wonderful, hard working woman who was integral in the preservation of vintage racing history in New England. Early on, Mary was also a dedicated professional within our organization. Thank you, Mary, you will be sorely missed. Godspeed.

Weymouth – Mary I. (Conard) Lima, age 74, of Dartmouth, passed away on Friday, January 8, 2021 at South Shore Hospital surrounded by her loving family. She was the beloved wife of Charles Lima.

Mary was born in Gloucester, to the late Owen and Frances Conard. She grew up in Gloucester and loved the beach as well as gardening and painting . Mary was a Member and Director of Senior Tour Auto Racing .She worked as a manager for Cameo Curtains and Pace Headstart for many years until her retirement.

She is survived by her daughter, Tammy Lima Barboza and her husband Michael; her 1 grandson, Matthew Lima Barboza; 1brother, Donald Conard and his wife Marie; sister in law Sharron Conrad: 1niece, Kandi Lee Conrad and1 nephew Eric Conrad.
Maria’s visiting hours will be held on Tuesday evening, January 12, 2021 from 5:00 P.M. – 8:00 P.M. at Perry Funeral Home. Her funeral will be Wednesday morning, beginning in the funeral home at 9:00 A.M. and followed by a Mass of Christian Burial at St. Mary’s Church in Dartmouth at 9:00 A.M. Burial will immediately follow in Pine Grove Cemetery.

All attendees are required by current mandated restrictions to wear a face covering at all times, to social distance 6 feet and to please refrain from any close physical contact. Attendance in the funeral home will be limited in order to meet the mandated capacity restrictions and could result with a wait time outside of the funeral home. Attendance in church and at the cemetery will also be limited to meet capacity restrictions. Thank you in advance for your patience and cooperation during this time.

Arrangements are placed in the care of Perry Funeral Home 111 Dartmouth St. New Bedford, MA 02740. Please see our website: for condolences.

Director’s Meeting 1/17/21

NEAR Vice President Skip Matczak Has graciously offered to host a Directors Meeting on Sunday, January 17, 2021 at 12 noon. This will be held at Seals It, 164 Maple Street, Ellington, CT 06029. We ask, due to Covid concerns, that only officers and committee chairs attend. Please remember to bring a mask!

Preparations for 2021 event season, HOF discussion, and any other Club business will be discussed. Pizza and liquid refreshments will be provided.

Thank you, Skip!